Our Amazon overlords had yet another stellar holiday shopping season, with the retail-and-tech giant selling millions more Alexa-enabled devices than previous year and seeing a major bump - to the tune of four million signups in one week alone - in Prime memberships through a last-minute free trial period.
Sales of Amazon devices were "millions more" than a year ago, when the company's holiday release touted sales of Alexa devices as in the "millions". That lineup includes Amazon's Echo speakers and Fire TV streaming device, among other gizmos. More than four million people started free Prime trials or bought memberships to the two-day shipping service in one week alone, the company said.
Amazon's own hardware products - including Alexa-enabled devices, Echo Dot and Fire TV Sticks - were ranked as the best-selling products from any manufacturer in any category across the entire Amazon platform.
As is typical, Amazon's press release was light on hard numbers. Analysts say subscribers of Amazon's membership program, which costs $99 a year in the USA, likely spend more on the retail site than non-members.
As many investors had expected, Amazon.com, Inc.
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In Europe, 10 fulfillment centers were able to complete more than 1 million packages in one day. And, crucially for Amazon, a company skilled at using one product or perk to get customers to buy more, Alexa opens up shopping by voice.
BBC local and national radio stations are now available on voice-activated home assistants and smart speakers, beginning with the Amazon Echo. In addition to Amazon products, Alexa is being built into a host of other products, including cars, phones and DVRs.
Many sales were made by Amazon customers ordering through the Alexa personal assistant.
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